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rible problems and difficulties. We have great sacrifices to make. This railway will be an enormous benefit to Africa, but do not let us conceal from ourselves that it is a task of no small magnitude. If you are to carry this railway forward you will not only have to smash the Mahdi, but Osman Digma also.
All this will involve great sacrifices and the expenditure not only of much money, but of more of the English blood of which the noblest has already been poured forth. And we are not so strong as we were.
At first all nations sympathized with us, but now they look on us coldly and even with hostility. Those who were our friends have become indifferent, those who were indifferent have become our adversaries; and if our misfortunes and disasters go on much longer we shall have Europe saying that they cannot trust us, that we are too weak, that our prestige is too low to justify us in undertaking this task.
My lords, those great dangers can only be faced by a consistent policy, which can only be conducted by a ministry capable of unity of counsel and decision of purpose. I have shown you that from this ministry we can expect no such results. They can only produce after their kind. They will only do what they have already done. You cannot look for unity of counsel from an administration that is hopelessly divided. You cannot expect a resolute policy from those whose purpose is hopelessly halting.
It is for this reason, my lords, that I ask you to record your opinion that from a ministry in whom the first of all the quality of decision of purpose - is wanting, you can hope no good in this crisis of our country's fate. And if you continue to trust them, if for any party reasons Parliament continues to abandon to their care the affairs which they have
Orations. Vol. 22-5
hitherto so hopelessly mismanaged, you must expect to go on from bad to worse; you must expect to lose the little prestige which you retain; you must expect to find in other portions of the world the results of the lower consideration that you occupy in the eyes of mankind; you must expect to be drawn on, degree by degree, step by step, under the cover of plausible excuses, under the cover of highly philanthropic sentiments, to irreparable disasters, and to disgrace that it will be impossible to efface.
VEORGE MURRAY, Canadian educator and literarian, born in Regent
Square, London, March 23, 1830, the only son of the late Jas. Murray, in his lifetime foreign editor of the London “ Times." He received his early education at the school of Dr. J. G. Greig, Walthamstow, Essex, afterward matriculating at King's College, London, where he took the chaplain's two prizes for English verse-original and translated-the principal's prize for Latin verse, the senior classical scholarship, and was elected A.K.C., the highest honor that could be conferred by the college. Proceeding to Oxford, he obtained among other honors the Lusby scholarship and the Lucy exhibition. Before taking his degree he published “The Oxford ars Poetica; or, How to Write a Newdigate." In 1859, after spending some years on the continent, he came to Canada and was appointed shortly afterward senior classical master of the Montreal High School, a position which he held until 1892. He was a contributor to the press, and in 1891 he published his poems in a volume entitled “ Verses and Versions," dedicated to “ Sir Edwin Arnold, my dearest companion for many years." Among his journalistic enterprises were “ Diogenes," a serio-comic weekly, and the Free Lance,” both published in Montreal, the last-named in conJunction with the late Geo. T. Lanigan. In 1882 he established “ Notes and Queries ” in the Montreal "Star" and of this department he has always been and still is the editor. He wrote also for the English “ Notes and Queries " and for “ Once a Week.” As a classical scholar, the Ottawa “ Journal ” places him among foremost on the American continent. On the formation of the Royal Society of Canada, in 1882, he was appointed by its founder, the Marquis of Lorne, to be one of the twenty original Fellows of the section of English literature, history, etc. He was secretary for some years of the old Montreal Literary Club, and on the death of the Hon. T. D. McGee, one of the Fellows of that society, was chosen, with two others, to edit the literary remains of the lamented poetstatesman.
PARTS OF AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE ATHENÆUM
CLUB OF MONTREAL IN 1880
HE question whether oratorical ability be on the whole
a public benefit or a mischief, was frequently
debated among the ancients; but in the present day it would be a waste of time to dilate
upon the advantages of being a skilful speaker. The tongue, which is the sword of
the orator, equals or surpasses in effect, at least for the time being, the pen of the ablest writer. If the true function of eloquence is to enlighten the understanding, to please the imagination, to stir the passions, or to influence the will; the accomplished orator who can attain these ends, and even the less effective speaker, in a minor degree, are possessed of a mighty power, either for good or evil. “ The wise in heart,” says Solomon, “shall be called prudent, but the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning."
Lord Chesterfield, a very superficial Solomon, but still a man of great worldly wisdom, constantly repeated to his son, that no man in his time could make a fortune or a figure in England without speaking, and speaking well, in public. “ It does not surprise us," writes Emerson, “ to learn from Plutarch what large sums were paid at Athens to the teachers of rhetoric, and if the pupils got what they paid for, the lessons were cheap."
Even a single triumphant speech has occasionally conferred a quasi-immortality. In the year 1755, when Lord Chatham was attacking the Newcastle administration, a member who voted with the ministry found their cause one evening in extreme danger. He accordingly rose, we are told, though he had never before addressed the House, and poured forth a speech, full of cogent argument and fervid emotion, with all the ease and confidence of a practised speaker. But the success of his maiden speech sealed his lips for the future. He was ever after getting ready, but never was ready for a second effort which should surpass his first; and the orator survives in the annals of fame under the sobriquet of “ Single-Speech Hamilton."
Again, the loss to the world of speeches which were unrecorded at the time of their delivery has been vainly regretted
by the most illustrious orators; and it is related by Lord Brougham of the younger Pitt that when the conversation turned on lost works, and some said they would prefer to recover the lost books of Livy, some those of Tacitus, and some a Latin tragedy, he at once decided for a speech of Bolingbroke. This was a noble tribute to the oratorical genius of the idol of Swift and of Pope, coming from one who in his own time, though accused by Mr. Windham of speaking in a “ state-paper style," produced almost magical effects upon a refined and critical audience.
Let me here, before I forget to introduce it, quote the simple but eloquent panegyric penned by one of England's greatest poets on England's greatest philosopher:
“ There happened,” writes Ben Jonson, “in my time one noble speaker who was full of gravity in his speaking. No man ever spoke more neatly, more expressively, more weightily, or suffered less emptiness, less idleness in what he uttered. No member of his speech but consisted of its own graces. His hearers could not cough or look aside from him without loss. He commanded where he spoke, and had his judges angry or pleased at his devotion. The fear of
every man that heard him was that he should make an end."
“No finer description," says Dugald Stewart, “ of the perfection of this art is to be found in any author, ancient or modern."
The prince of Roman orators used the following language in his speech for Muræna: “Magnus dicendi labor, magna res, magna dignitas, summa autem gratia," that is to say: “ Great is the labor that qualifies speaking, great the art itself, great its dignity, and most great too, the influence connected with it.” Apart from its professional value and advantages to the clergyman, the senator, and the lawyer, the